October 19, 2017
Unless you’ve taken a social media hiatus in the last week, you have likely seen dozens of women post “Me Too” on their Facebook feeds. In an action of solidarity with fellow women (and men) who have encountered sexual harassment or assault, the campaign has raised awareness and sparked many conversations about an important, relevant and often ignored problem in our culture.
But it just makes me angry.
I’m not angry at the women who have come forward. Their choices to do so are their own, for whatever reasons they see fit. I’m not angry at those that kept silent. Their choices are also their own, for whatever reasons they see fit.
I’m angry at the people who are surprised.
More than once, I’ve heard or read someone exclaim, “I can’t believe how many women I know who have had this happen to them.” Yeah, people. No shit. How is this a surprise?
Every woman, and I mean EVERY woman has been made to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, or violated at some point in their life. Whether it’s an inappropriate comment from their coworker, a date that turned scary, a superior taking advantage of their power, or straight-up physical abuse, it’s happened.
There have also been very public cases of abuse in recent times (Cosby, Trump, Weinstein, just to name a few), which would seem to have brought this issue out of the shadows. But no. Despite this happening all around us, both publicly and privately, there’s still a significant part of the population who thinks sexual harassment and assault is something that occurs on the fringes of society.
Most of these “surprised” people are dudes, but not all of them. And really, it doesn’t even matter what gender they are. What matter’s is that it took thousands of women coming forward before people clued in to something that already should have been so clear.
So yeah, “Me Too.” Obviously, me too. It seems ridiculous that I even have to say it for people to acknowledge it.
What happened? I could pick from a few things to tell you about, but I won’t. It’s just not my style. I acknowledge that there are women who have experienced things unimaginably worse than I have, while also acknowledging that my experiences left me feeling shamed, worthless, self-loathing and downright shitty, sometimes for prolonged periods of time. None of it is okay.
If it took a fleeting internet fad to raise awareness of this issue, then I guess I’m glad the “Me Too” thing came along. I’m just mad we needed it in the first place.
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